The story of the titular truck and its breathtaking life on the open road.
THE LOST HIGHWAY BAG
Big Buddy Blue by Team Tumult (otherwise known as Frederic Siegel and Beni Morard from Switzerland) is the third in our TARP BLANCHE FREITAG explanatory film series. With somnambulistic storytelling skill, the film gives viewers an insight into the world of a trucker – with all his dreams, nightmares and fantasies of bag-based salvation. If David Lynch had drawn and animated his films, he would have released them under the name ‘Team Tumult’, and his Lost Highway would have been called Big Buddy Blue.
In our non-commercial series, animation artists from all around the world tell the FREITAG story – From Truck Till Bag – from their own unique perspectives. We look forward to seeing the rest of the series – and to rewatching the F-ilms that have already been released!
Meet Team Tumult
Beni and Frederic are part of the Swiss creative collective Team Tumult. Both Beni and Frederic studied animation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. With Frederic’s skills in illustration and sound design and Beni’s experience on the animation and production side, they sound like a dream team.
What’s the movie about?
Beni: The idea is that every FREITAG bag has a story behind it because it had a life before it became a bag. We wanted to tell the story of one bag that had a relationship in its previous life.
«We wanted to tell the story of one FREITAG bag that had a relationship in its previous life.» Beni Morard, Team Tumult
What’s the usual process with your projects?
Beni: When we start a project, we usually begin with a brainstorming session unless somebody already has an idea. And then we try to throw in all the ideas we come up with. To really get a story together, we have to start drawing pretty quickly. So we create these tiny little drawings called thumbnails which we draw really ugly so we don’t get attached to them.
Fredi: And no-one can read them except for the one who drew them. They’re really crappy.
Beni: Really ugly little drawings that you don’t like at all. Then you cut them, put them on a wall and you try to get this mosaic of a story together with them. That’s the first phase. It starts to look like a little comic.
And then what’s the second step?
Fredi: We usually draw some style frames that show how the film is gonna look, and do some character designs to see how the characters and the world are gonna look. With my projects, I usually have a very strong, minimal color palette with just three or four colors. So another step is to find out which colors work together. And then you have a distinctive color scheme.
«So we create these tiny little drawings called thumbnails which we draw really ugly so we don’t get attached to them.» Beni Morard, Team Tumult
How do you divide the work between your team mates?
Beni: That’s easy. Our skill set is very different. In the thumbnailing and story phase we work very closely with each other. Then I usually work out a cleaner storyboard and animatic cut that we pass between ourselves to edit further.
Fredi: While he’s working on the storyboard, I’m working on the style, the style frame and the character design. All of the design stuff. But we still work on it together; I just take the first steps. And then we play ping-pong.
Beni: During production, we both animate the shots, but Fredi is very good with complex effects where everything has to move around and morph, and I’m better at character animation.
What were the biggest challenges so far?
Beni: The change we made to the story at the beginning. It was a huge turnaround pretty late in the process. We already had a story in mind when we left for the animation film festival in Annecy. But then on the way back we had a new idea and we threw everything else away and focused on this new idea.
What’s your favorite part of the movie?
Beni: My favorite part of the film is where you can see the relationship between our main character and his truck. That’s what our movie is about. The relationship between these two characters. You can see what they go through together. I like the positive feeling it gives you.
Fredi: My favorite parts are the crazy scenes. They’re so much fun to animate. And I love to see the final shots. It makes me very happy.
«My favorite parts are the crazy scenes. They’re so much fun to animate. And I love to see the final shots. It makes me very happy.» Frederic Siegel, Team Tumult
What was different in this project compared to your usual work?
Fredi: We’re really happy when we get the artistic freedom to do what we want. That was really cool. They had no idea what they were going to get. We’re happy that they gave us the space to work.
Beni: It’s very uncommon to get this kind of freedom. A carte blanche is basically the coolest thing you can get as an artist. It should be more common.